Auburn Hills, MI – Mitch McGary scored 21 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to power Michigan to a 78-53 rout of VCU in the third round of the NCAA Tournament in front of a partisan crowd at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
Trey Burke added 18 points and seven assists, while Glenn Robinson III and Tim Hardaway Jr. each chipped in 14 points for the Wolverines (28-7), who advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1994.
Michigan, seeded fourth in the South, will play either Kansas or North Carolina in a potential blockbuster regional semifinal next Friday in Arlington, Texas. The top-seeded Jayhawks and Tar Heels will square off on Sunday in Kansas City.
"We're definitely proud, honored to be able to play in the Sweet 16," Burke remarked. "At the same time, we still know that we have work to do."
McGary made 10-of-11 shots to lead a Michigan team that controlled the game inside. Robinson was 7-of-10 from the field and also grabbed nine rebounds. The Wolverines dominated the boards by a 41-24 count.
Juvonte Reddic scored 16 points for VCU (27-9), which played a Big Ten team in the round of 32 for the third straight year. The Rams beat Purdue on the way to a surprising Final Four appearance in 2011 and dropped a two-point decision to Indiana last year.
VCU, coming off an 88-42 demolition of Akron in the second round, struggled all day Saturday, making just 39.7 percent from the field. The swarming Rams defense forced 22 turnovers on Thursday, but turned the Wolverines over just 12 times on Saturday.
"Just was not our best game," VCU coach Shaka Smart admitted. "We didn't have quite the spirit or energy that we've had when we've been at our best. I'm not sure why."
Michigan was clinging to an 18-17 lead midway through the first half, then opened some breathing room with a 20-4 run. Burke scored nine during the burst and Robinson added six, including a dunk in the final minute that gave the Wolverines a 38-21 advantage.
The Rams missed nine straight shots at one point during Michigan's surge and Briante Weber's jumper in the closing seconds sent VCU to the break down by 15.
Buckets by Troy Daniels and Reddic to start the second half quickly pulled the Rams within 11 and it was still a 12-point game a few minutes later before the Wolverines broke it wide open.
McGary ignited a 12-2 run with a dunk and a layup before a three by Burke with just under 13 minutes remaining gave Michigan a 57-35 cushion. VCU had no answer and never trimmed the deficit below 20 from there. The Wolverines led by as many as 31.
Michigan, after a 71-56 win over South Dakota State in its NCAA opener on Thursday, appears to be rounding back into the form that vaulted the program to a No. 1 ranking in late January. The Wolverines were 20-1 before a loss at Indiana on the second day of February sent them into a spin that resulted in a 5-5 mark over the final 10 games of the regular season.
Michigan shot 51.7 percent overall and made 10-of-11 from the free throw line ... Daniels, who made six threes and scored 23 points against Akron, was just 3-of-13 from the field overall and 1-for-9 from 3-point territory en route to seven points on Saturday ... VCU converted Michigan's 12 turnovers into just 10 points ... The Rams made just 3-of-16 from beyond the arc ... VCU became the first Atlantic 10 team to fall in this year's tournament. Each of the five teams from the conference reached the round of 32.